Third Parties

Supreme Court Won't Consider Case Overturning Va. Law Controlling Who Circulates Petitions

Only allowed residents of the state to circulate petitions to get third-party candidates on ballots


The United States Supreme Court today rejected the Virginia Attorney General's bid to overturn a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down a law that allows only state residents to circulate petitions for third-party candidates to appear on the presidential ballot.

"The Fourth Circuit got it right. The circulation of ballot petitions is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment, and the state may not limit that right to Virginia residents," said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg. "We're pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that there is no need to review the Fourth Circuit decision, which is in line with the vast majority of federal courts that have considered this issue."

The ACLU represents the Libertarian Party of Virginia and Darryl Bonner, a non-Virginia resident who often circulates petitions on behalf of Libertarian Party candidates in other states.